Mr. Locke and Mr. Sims go to Washington

Seattle's dynamic duo talk about their new DC roles.
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Gary Locke and Ron Sims: figuring out the Other Washington

Seattle's dynamic duo talk about their new DC roles.

The Fall issue of Washington Law & Politics is out with a great cover and interesting interviews with its two cover-boys: Gary Locke and Ron Sims. Both Seattle pols are now part of the Obama administration in high-profile positions: Locke as Commerce Secretary and Sims as number two in the department of Housing and Urban Development.

Law & Politics' tagline is "Only our name is boring," and is well-known for funny celebrity covers, and this issue's is a great example. (Disclosure: I write the "On Politics" column for the magazine.) They got Sims and Locke to pose in front of the Washington Monument as confused newcomers in DC. The funny thing is, they shot each separately because they couldn't get them scheduled together for the shoot, but then spliced the them together for the cover image. Sims looks like an excited tourist; Locke is a bit dazed and confused as he inspects a street map.

Even better than the cover are interviews with each that provide the first look at how they were hired, what they think of Obama, how they're adapting to life in the other Washington, and what their job priorities will be.

Sims allows that while he's working long hours (nothing new for the highly energetic former county exec) he's also relieved not to be in elective office. His wonkery on issues apparently impressed Obama, and Sims says that he expects his job at HUD will actually be "liberating" from the tyranny of campaign fundraising and constantly being attacked in the local media.

Locke says that Commerce secretary was his first choice of administration jobs, even if he wasn't Obama's first choice for the position. Locke says he's very impressed with Obama but allows that his one worry is that the current recession is an "economic Katrina" that will take a lot of patience and flexibility to fix. "I just hope people can be patient with us," he says.


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About the Authors & Contributors

Knute Berger

Knute Berger

Knute “Mossback” Berger is Crosscut's Editor-at-Large.